The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched a multifamily version of its ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The online energy performance tracking tool allows building owners and operators to measure and manage their buildings’ energy consumption.
A comparable tool has existed for the office sector for more than a decade, and NMHC has been urging EPA to release a multifamily-specific version for years. The tool will allow apartment owners to assess their portfolios’ energy performance, identify under-performing buildings, set investment priorities to make targeted energy efficiency improvements and earn recognition for achievements.
Using Portfolio Manager, apartment firms can enter building square footage and whole-community energy and water data, as well as optional building attributes, to benchmark performance. The tool automatically uses this information to calculate useful metrics such as energy and water consumption and costs (both per square foot and in total); greenhouse gas emissions associated with the community’s energy consumption; and weather-normalized energy intensity. Using this information, multifamily housing owners and operators can prioritize improvement opportunities and track efficiency improvements over time.
NMHC strongly encourages multifamily firms to take advantage of the Portfolio Manager program because robust participation will provide the basis for the development of an Energy Star rating for multifamily properties. This is increasingly important as Congress considers mandatory energy performance labeling requirements for commercial and residential properties.
NMHC is concerned that mandatory labeling requirements without the existence of a fully vetted Energy Star labeling program for multifamily could discourage investment in the sector. (For more on energy/climate change legislation being circulated in Congress, see the April 6 NMHC Update.)